UCLA's Lisa Willis Named To USA World University Games Team
Aug. 1, 2005
UCLA guard Lisa Willis (Long Beach, Calif./Narbonne HS) has been named to the final 12-member 2005 USA World University Games Team. The senior-to-be was chosen after a weekend of training with the other 15 finalists for the squad in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Also named to the final team were 2005 National Player of the Year Seimone Augustus (LSU/Baton Rouge, La.); Monique Currie (Duke/Washington, D.C.); Jessica Davenport (Ohio State/Columbus, Ohio); Megan Duffy (Notre Dame/Dayton, Ohio); Candice Dupree (Temple/Tampa, Fla.); Sylvia Fowles (LSU/Miami, Fla.); Erin Grant (Texas Tech/Arlington, Texas); Brandie Hoskins (Ohio State/Dayton, Ohio); Cappie Pondexter (Rutgers/Chicago, Ill.); Liz Shimek (Michigan State / Empire, Mich.); and Brooke Smith (Stanford / San Anselmo, Calif.).
'I have fallen in love with this team sooner than I thought I would,' said USA head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith. 'On and off the court they are surprising me and amazing me. They've come together, they're unselfish, they're enthusiastic and motivated, they're disciplined. Everything a coach looks for in a team this group of young women is showing this early in the process. I think we're blessed with a lot of depth in all positions. Our challenge is to not rest on our level but take a step forward and be ready for whatever comes our way.'
Willis, who averaged 16.3 points and 6.9 rebounds per game in 2004-05, brings tremendous three-point shooting and aggressive defense to the team. She led the Pac-10 in 2005 in three-point field goals made (70) and steals (102) and ranked in the Top 15 nationally in both categories. During UCLA's Australia tour in June, she led the Bruins in scoring with a 22.5 points per game average, including a 34-point effort against the Australian Junior National Team. This is Willis' first experience with the USA National Team, and she is just the third Bruin player to make the World University Games team, joining Hall of Famers Ann Meyers (1977) and Denise Curry (1981).
The USA team will remain in Colorado Springs for training through Aug. 4. The team will practice twice daily at 9:00-11:00 a.m. and 5:00-7:00 p.m. (all times listed are local times) at the U.S. Olympic Training Center's Sports Center II and Colorado College's J. Juan Reid Gymnasium. The squad will practice at Sports Center II Aug. 1, 3 and 4 and at J. Juan Reid Gymnasium on Aug. 2. Departing for Turkey on Aug. 5, the team will resume training Aug. 6-9 in Izmir prior to the U.S.'s opening game at the World University Games against the Czech Republic on Aug. 10.
After playing the Czech Republic, the USA will face South Africa on Aug. 11, China on Aug. 12, and will wrap up preliminary round play against Poland on Aug. 15. The World University Games quarterfinals will be held Aug. 16, with semifinal games taking place Aug. 17, and finals on Aug. 19.